Camp Susquehanna is dedicated to providing children with burns the opportunities to face social and physical challenges, develop self-esteem, and promote a positive attitude while encouraging healthy independence. Camp is a safe place for healing, a place for children to share feelings about difficult experiences, perhaps for the first time. Life skills workshops combined with many fun activities ensure that the child with burn injuries enjoys special experiences. Camp Susquehanna strives to have every child meet the goals of building self-esteem, learning responsibility, and developing coping strategies to use outside the camp arena. One way we do this is by providing challenge activities that give children the sense of ‘conquering’ and accomplishment.
Camp Susquehanna is dedicated to providing children with burns the opportunities to face social and physical challenges, develop self- esteem, and promote a positive attitude while encouraging healthy independence. Camp is a safe place for healing, a place for children to share feelings about difficult experiences, perhaps for the first time. Life skills workshops combined with many fun activities ensure that the child with burn injuries enjoys special experiences. Camp Susquehanna strives to have every child meet the goals of building self-esteem, learning responsibility, and developing coping strategies to use outside the camp arena. One way we do this is by providing challenge activities that give children the sense of ‘conquering’ and accomplishment.
Camp Susquehanna came into being after a lecture in 1994 to the Lancaster SERTOMA club by Alan Breslau, founder of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. The club presented him with a Service to Mankind Award and asked him what they could do to help burn survivors. Alan immediately suggested that they establish a camp for burned children. It was decided there and then by the Sertomans that they would do so in memory of M Elvin Byler their founder. Camp Susquehanna was born! The first camp was held on the beautiful campus of Franklin and Marshall College with eight children that very same summer. It was a very ‘full on’ program packed tightly with fun activities and outings, directed by Richard Friedman, Lee Walp, Cindy Thomas and Alan & Delwyn Breslau with enthusiastic support from the Sertoma members and the Fire Service. Children have since been flown in from many different states where there are no established camps for them to attend. Alan and Delwyn remained closely involved with the annual summer camp until their emigration to New Zealand in 2003.
Counselors must be present at camp per the dates listed above. No exceptions.
2020 Camp Susquehanna Handbook COMING SOON!
2020 Volunteer Application » COMING SOON!
Camp Susquehanna is only possible because of generous community donors and businesses. It costs roughly $1000 to send one child to camp, and the entire experience is completely free of charge to our campers and their families! If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation, please use the donate button below or make your check out to the Burn Prevention Network and put Camp Susquehanna in the comment section.
Burn Prevention Network c/o Camp Susquehanna
236 North 17th Street
Allentown, PA 18104
** Please make checks payable to Burn Prevention Network and write Camp Susquehanna in the memo line
Breck Artz is a Therapist with Catholic Charities Intensive Day Treatment Program in Lancaster, PA. There she works with children and adolescents with significant mental health diagnoses within the school/program settings while working extensively with their team to decrease behaviors so that they may return to a less restrictive environment. Breck is also the part time Student Ministries Leader at Church of God of Landisville. She has her Master’s degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies with a specialization in Youth Development. Breck has been a part of Camp Discovery-Pennsylvania (a specialized camp for children with chronic dermatological conditions) since 1998 and has been on their director team since 2002. These experiences have led her to Camp Susquehanna as part of leadership team overseeing camp programming. She has been involved with Camp Susquehanna since 2014.
Jessica Banks is the Prevention Education Director and Camp Liaison for the Burn Prevention Network. She has a Bachelor’s degree with dual certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Millersville University. She worked in Early Care Classrooms and Administration for 18 years before joining the staff of the Burn Prevention Network in 2006. She runs all programming for BPN, and holds the PA State Levels I&II Certification as a Youth Fire Misuse Specialist. She has been involved with Camp Susquehanna since 2015.
Liz Dideon Hess is a Clinical Social Worker working in private practice therapy. Previously, she has worked at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Regional Burn Center for 13 years, where she provided mental health counseling, support group facilitation, and oversaw peer support programs for pediatric and adult burn survivors. She specializes in trauma, social skill development, grief, and body image issues. Liz has been a burn survivor since 2003 and has been involved with Camp Susquehanna since 2004.
Marcia Levinson is an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University, in the department of Physical Therapy. Her specialty is pediatrics, with a Master’s degree in family counseling, a Master of Science degree in Pediatric Physical Therapy and a Doctorate in Clinical Child Development. Marcia has been on the Leadership Team of Camp Susquehanna since 2002.
Jennifer Nagle graduated in 1999 from Widner University with a Bachelors degree in nursing and has worked as a critical care nurse at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s, Regional Burn Center since 2003. Jenn has been involved with Camp Susquehanna since 2006 and the LIT leader since 2013.
Steven Schneider is a retired Fire Chief and currently works for a large fire protection service provider. He is the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Regional Burn Center’s Liaison to the Fire Service. Steve has been involved with Camp Susquehanna since 2014 and the LIT leader since 2015.
The Leaders In Training (LIT) program is a three year leadership program within Camp Susquehanna, for young adults ages 18 to 21 with an option for a fourth year. The LIT program focuses on fostering skills necessary to becoming a good leader as well as developing life skills that will be beneficial throughout the participant’s lifetime. Through a combination of group discussions and exercises, the participants will recognize the value of teamwork and planning, how to overcome obstacles, handle setbacks and continue to develop their own values. These skills will be put to use while interacting and assisting the campers and councilors. Entry into this program is via an application process, which will be reviewed by a committee of the Camp and those accepted will be notified.
Camp is a 5 day, sleep-away experience for children ages 7-17 who have had a burn injury. It is an opportunity for children to have fun, learn life skills, and meet other burn survivors. Although Camp Susquehanna’s campers are of varying ages, activities and groups are geared towards each camper’s developmental needs.
Camp Susquehanna is being held at beautiful Camp Westmont in Poyntelle, PA! Surrounded by beautiful woods and containing many outdoor adventures, campers and counselors also enjoy the amenities of air conditioned facilities.
Our staff consists of adult burn survivors, health care professionals, burn center staff and fire service professionals. All of our staff undergoes criminal background checks, screening interviews, and training.
NOTHING! Camp is free to campers, sponsored by the M. Elvin Byler Memorial Sertoma Club, Burn Prevention Network, and other generous donors. Campers are also offered free roundtrip bus transportation from several different sites/burn centers across Pennsylvania; including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lehigh Valley. Children may also be brought to camp via private vehicle.
Camp Susquehanna has qualified burn nurses on staff who dispense medications, change dressings, assist with pressure garments, and perform medical duties as needed. For the first time this year we will also have the benefit of Telemedicine Services through Lehigh Valley Health Network! Our programming is geared to include all levels of ability and function. Other professionals are present, including mental health, physical, occupational, and/or recreational therapists, etc.
It is the policy of the Burn Prevention Network to make its educational programs and services available to all persons, organizations, and places of business without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, race, creed, color, national origin, ability to pay, handicap or disability, and subject to the availability of institutional resources.